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"We talked to a lot of people, including founders of other dating sites, and gay women we were friends with," Tessler says. When Tessler decided to start online matchmaking service The Dating Ring two years ago, she couldn't get nearly enough gay women to match with the few gay women who had signed up for the service.Meeting someone through your LGBTQ social network offers a level of Date Insurance that many queer women can't afford to do without.All this partner-vetting isn't to say all lesbians are serial monogamists.After all, she says, it's easier to ask all of your friends what that cute girl's situation is when they all know her and probably have for years.
"I want to actually hear more about the person than one headline and 10 selfies." Her founder Robyn Exton did tell CNN Money back in May that the rebranded app would have more text boxes and photos so that people could see "the interesting parts of how she lives," but a recent tour through the app shows that the extra info is still pretty rarely filled out.
So, of the hundreds of dating apps that exist, why isn't there a better, queer-women-friendly dating app yet?
Are lesbians not online dating because there's no good app, or is there no good app because lesbians don't like online dating?
Lauren O'Reilly, Director of Marketing at OKCupid, says that of their current 10 million active users, women seeking women only comprise 7 percent of that.
But the good news is that since the site expanded their gender and orientation options, they've seen a 7 percent rise in female LGBTQ users, suggesting that many women may have felt stifled by the need to identify as one gender or one sexuality, which could also be an issue when trying to get queer women on a lesbian-specific app.